A retired Californian police officer has had a emotional reunion with a 25-year-old man he found abandoned as a baby in a rubbish skip.

Santa Ana former police officer Michael Buelna always said he hoped one day he would meet up again with Robin Barton after he discovered him a bin in November 1989 just four hours after the boy was born.

Barton was abandoned by his mother soon after she gave birth and weighed just 4lb 2oz when he was discovered by the on-duty Buelna.

Beulna said he heard a "very low meow, like a cat or something" before he found the baby behind a rubbish skip.

Robin Barton
Robin Barton pictured with officer Michael Buelna as a baby ABC

"I noticed the umbilical cord and he was covered, he still had all the mucus and stuff and all the trash and gravel was sticking to him," Buelna told broadcaster ABC. "I tried to give him a tiny little bit of breath and he reacted a little bit."

Barton's biological mother, Sarina Diaz, who was 19 when he was born, was later arrested and jailed for three years for attempted murder and child endangerment.

Barton said he is not "angry or upset" at his mother and has forgiven her. "She was a young woman in a very compromising position," he added.

Barton was adopted by Orange County couple Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez, who described how happy they were to meet the officer who found Barton.

Fernandez said: "I had the opportunity to shake his hand and look in his eyes and say: 'Thank you for saving his life.'"

KCBS-TV reports that news of the reunion led Barton's biological father, Marcos Meza, to come forward. Meza is said to have told Barton his biological mother moved to Mexico after serving her sentence and wants to see him.

Barton hopes that finally meeting Diaz will help him bring closure.